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Posts published in “Insurance Law”

8th Cir. Holds Alleged Contract for Interest Rate Reduction May Not Be Barred by Statute of Frauds

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit recently held that a borrower’s claims concerning lender-placed insurance practices were barred by res judicata, because the alleged practices were the subject of a class action suit in which the borrower was a class member who was provided notice of the settlement and did not object to the settlement. However, the Eighth Circuit also concluded that the servicer failed to establish that the statute of frauds barred the borrower’s claims concerning an alleged contract for interest rate reduction. A copy of the opinion in Calon v. Bank of America, NA is…

8th Cir. Holds Property Damage Insurer Improperly Withheld ‘Labor Depreciation’ from Claim Payments

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit recently affirmed a trial court’s order certifying a class of Arkansas homeowners against an insurer that improperly withheld amounts for labor depreciation when paying covered property damage claims under their insurance policies. A copy of the opinion in Stuart v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Company is available at:  Link to Opinion. A putative class of Arkansas homeowners (“insureds”) sued their insurer alleging that between Nov. 21, 2008 and Dec. 6, 2013 the insurer improperly withheld labor depreciation costs when paying insureds for covered property damage under their insurance policies. The insureds…

Wisc. Supreme Court Holds Fire Spreading Across Multiple Properties Was Single ‘Occurrence’ Under CGL Policy

Reversing the rulings of the trial court and intermediate appellate court, the Supreme Court of Wisconsin recently concluded that a fire which spread across several properties was a single ‘occurrence’ for purposes of the commercial general liability policy, and not a new ‘occurrence’ each time the fire crossed a property line. By determining that the fire was a single ‘occurrence’ under the policy, the policy’s reduced per-occurrence limit for property damage “due to fire, arising from logging or lumbering operations” under its incorporated endorsement, rather than its higher aggregate limit, applied. A copy of the opinion in Ecura Insurance v. Lyme…

3rd Cir. Limits Title Insurer’s Duty to Defend

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that a title insurer under Pennsylvania state law only had a duty to defend its insured lender for the covered claims alleged in the four corners of a borrower’s complaint, not for all alleged claims under the “in for one, in for all” rule. A copy of the opinion in Lupu v. Loan City, LLC is available at:  Link to Opinion. A Pennsylvania borrower refinanced his home loan and mortgage with a lender.  The loan transferred several times finally ending up with the current holder.  A title insurer provided title…

4th Cir. Holds HPA Does Not Require LPMI Disclosures If LPMI Not Required at Closing

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit recently concluded that lender-paid mortgage insurance (“LPMI”) disclosures under the federal Homeowners Protection Act are only required if LPMI is a condition of the borrower obtaining the loan. In affirming the trial court’s dismissal of the borrowers’ claims, the Fourth Circuit dissected the specific language of the provision in the HPA addressing disclosures related to mortgage insurance, 12 U.S.C. § 4905.  Specifically, the Fourth Circuit determined that the disclosures are only required if LPMI is a condition of the loan at the time of closing. In this case, the lender did not…

SD Fla. Rejects Borrower’s Effort to Exclude Evidence of Reasonableness of Lender-Placed Insurance Premiums

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida recently denied a borrower’s motion to exclude testimony of an insurer’s expert regarding the reasonableness of lender-placed insurance premiums levied upon the borrower’s mortgage loan. In so doing, the Court rejected the borrower’s argument that the expert testimony failed to address claims that the insurer colluded with its mortgage servicer to inflate insurance premiums, concluding that the borrower’s objection goes to the weight, rather than the admissibility of the testimony, and that testimony concerning the insurer’s compliance with applicable rules, regulations and industry standards would assist the trier in fact.…

10th Cir. Rules TCPA Action Not Covered by Insurance Under Colorado Law

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit recently affirmed summary judgment in favor of an insurance company, holding that the insurer had no duty to defend and indemnify its insured in a lawsuit alleging that the provider’s telemarketing phone calls violated several federal and state laws, because statutory damages and injunctive relief under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) are uninsurable penalties — not damages — under Colorado law and the insurance policies at issue. A copy of the opinion in ACE American Insurance Company v. Dish Network is available at:  Link to Opinion. The federal government and five…

6th Cir. Holds Michigan’s 6-Year Statute of Limitations Applies to Penalty for Untimely Insurance Claims Payments

In a case involving a claim on a fire insurance policy relating to damaged real estate, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit recently held that the insurance policy’s two-year limitations provision did not apply to a claim brought under section 500.2006(4) of Michigan Complied Laws because it was not a claim “under the policy,” and instead Michigan’s “catch-all” six-year period of limitations applied. In addition, and contrary to two previous unpublished rulings, the Sixth Circuit determined that a private cause of action exists under section 500.2006(4) Accordingly, the Sixth Circuit determined that the insured’s claim was timely,…

7th Cir. Holds Bankers’ Professional Liability Policy Did Not Cover Excessive Fees Claims

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently affirmed the dismissal of a bank’s lawsuit against its insurer for breach of contract and bad faith denial of coverage, holding that the insurance policy’s exclusion for any claim based upon or arising from fees or charges applied to the facts alleged. The bank argued that the primary sources of the claims against it concerned the bank’s policies and procedures, which were not the subject of a policy exclusion.  However, the Court held the insurer was not required to defend or indemnify the bank for the underlying $24 million settlement…

9th Cir. Holds TCPA Claim Not Covered Due to ‘Invasion of Privacy’ Exclusion

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently held that a liability insurance policy that broadly excluded coverage for invasion of privacy claims also excluded coverage for claims for violations of the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act. A copy of the opinion in L.A. Lakers v. Federal Ins. Co. is available at:  Link to Opinion. In 2012, a class action complaint was filed against the Los Angeles Lakers for allegedly sending text messages using an automatic telephone dialing system in violation of the TCPA, 47 U.S.C. § 227, et seq.  The Lakers asked their insurer to defend them against…

Illinois Fed. Court Holds No ‘Bad Faith Denial Of Coverage’ Against Title Insurers in Illinois

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois recently held that a title insurer may exclude coverage under the exception for defects “created, suffered, assumed, or agreed to by the insured claimant” without intentional or wrongful conduct by the insured. In so ruling, the Court also held that the Illinois statute for bad faith denial of coverage by insurers did not apply to title insurers. A copy of the opinion in Bank of America, NA v. Chicago Title Insurance Company is available at:  Link to Opinion. In 2007, a developer sought to purchase real estate in Yorkville, Illinois, to…

3rd Cir. Holds No TCPA Coverage Under Businessowners Insurance Policy

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit recently held that a businessowners insurance policy did not cover a class action judgment that arose out of unsolicited advertisement communications in violation of the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act. A copy of the opinion in Auto-Owners Insurance Company v. Stevens & Ricci Inc. is available at:  Link to Opinion. A business was solicited by an advertiser who claimed to have a fax advertising program that complied with the TCPA, 47 U.S.C. § 227. The business allowed the advertiser to fax thousands of advertisements to potential customers on its behalf. Six years later, a…